The 60s meets the future; Lorong Campbell Market, Penang
When I first began the project of tracking down the locations of my grandparent’s photographs I never dreamt in a million years that I would find the location of the market snaps. Lets face it, they could have been taken on any road anywhere on the Malaysian Peninsula. Imagine my surprise then, when I handed my little album to an elderly caretaker at the hostel to see if he could identify any pictures and he immediately pointed to these and said “that’s Lorong Campbell – Campbell Road! Doesn’t look like that any more though, they got rid of the market long time back. It’s half a block from here.” He whipped out a map and drew an x on it, “there it is,” and there it was! I actually thought it was remarkably unchanged despite the absence of the market and couldn’t believe I’d been staying right next to it for the best part of a week.
Despite the fact that most of the stalls have gone, like most roads in South east Asia, there’s always a few about and they don’t seem to have changed much in fifty years either. I did find myself wandering the streets for the next few days imagining how it would have looked when my grandmother walked them herself 50 years ago and kept trying to figure out which parts were old enough to have been there then. What I’ve generally found since starting this adventure is that the things you expect to have lasted – haven’t, and the things you thought wouldn’t have.